Photography and Video

Cameras, camcorders, and photography advice.

What's the Best Way to Backup and Organize My Photos?


Episode 1795

Jimmy from Panama City, CA

Jimmy misses Google Picasa. He loved that photo app. What's a good alternative that doesn't require a monthly fee? Leo says that Picasa was the sweet spot from the low-end freebie and the high-end app like Photoshop or Lightroom. Google bought it and then killed it after promising to move features over to Google photos, which they never really did. It's a pity too.

Chris Marquardt: Pinhole Photography

Chris Marquardt

Episode 1795

Today's photo topic is pinhole photography, or how to take a picture with a homemade camera that has a pinhole. Recently, photographers celebrated Worldwide Pinhole Day. Shooting with this "original camera" takes you to a more simplistic level. Pinhole cameras don't have a lens, but the size of the hole matters. The bigger the hole, the less sharp the image. What also matters is the distance of the pinhole from the piece of film (there are also digital pinhole cameras): the farther away, the more telephoto, the closer, the more wide angle.

Are There Alternatives to Zoom for Video Conferencing?


Episode 1794

Tom from Santa Clara, California

Tom says that when using Zoom, he runs into problems. Leo says that's because everyone is using the network, from education to working from home, and as such, it can get overloaded. Leo recommends Jitsi. It's free and open source. And he can run his own server for calls, as well. He can find others in this article at Computer World. But chances are, he is going to end up back at Zoom. It's largely ubiquitous.

Chris Marquardt ... Perspective


Episode 1791

Today, Chris wants to talk about Perspective. Chris says that interesting photos are often taken from an unusual perspective. Drone shots make for a great perspective and it's a good affordable alternative to capture that bird's eye view. Before, you had to charter a helicopter. Chris also says that you no longer have to be where your camera is. Because many cameras are now wifi enabled, you can put your camera into a unique perspective and trigger it from a distance with your mobile device or Bluetooth trigger.

Chris Marquardt: Color Revisited

Chris Marquardt

Episode 1789

Today Chris takes us back to color. Color grabs the attention. It can create harmony. Color saturation can make an image more dramatic, or appear dreamy, depending on its strength. Colors can also suggest depth: closer subjects can look bolder in their saturation, while further subjects can be more faint with its colors.

Conversely, taking colors out can simplify an image. Color grading can also create a mood. It's a key part of any image in movies. 

Here are some examples:

Chris Marquardt: Shooting Clouds

Chris Marquardt

Episode 1787

Chris joins Leo to talk about clouds today. Often we treat clouds in the image as an afterthought. But they are more important to the shot than we think. Chris now makes it a part of his decision-making process when it comes to taking a picture. Clouds can be very different depending on the day, giving an image a more dramatic look or an interesting compositional element. They can frame an image, draw a line to the subject, provide visual balance. 

Here's the gallery:

Chris Marquardt: Reflective

Chris Marquardt

Episode 1783

Today's photo segment is all about shooting images with reflections. Chris is always looking for reflections when he shoots. Just about anything can make a reflection if the light is right. Reflections can add a sense of symmetry to a shot or add layers to an image to make it more interesting. But reflections can also bounce light to make your shot worse. Like on water. So use a polarizer to cut the reflection out. To add a reflection, get lower and closer.  If you don't want to appear in a reflection while you're shooting, try wearing black.